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This is a time of transition from lay life to the life proper to the novitiate. Postulancy is not a stage of religious life but a preliminary probation during which you wear secular dress. It is a time for prayerful discernment, for seeking to discover if God is calling you to give your whole self in joyous and wholehearted service to God and the Church within this Franciscan family. At the completion of the year, a decision must be made whether or not to continue. Two months before the end of the year, you return home for two weeks. Then if you still desire to continue, you ask to be received into the Novitiate as a Poor Clare novice and you move to the next stage along your journey.
This is when living in our Order begins. During a lovely simple ceremony you leave aside your secular clothing and are clothed in the Franciscan habit with a white veil, cord and sandals. The novitiate lasts two years during which you will become acquainted with the most important requirements of our life and be prepared for the life of perfect love according to the evangelical counsels.
During Mass, the novice pronounces her vows and receives the black veil, having committed herself to following Christ more closely in poverty, chastity, obedience and enclosure. She begins to share more fully in the activities of the community for the following three years, preparing her heart to seal her commitment in solemn vows. It is a time of joyful anticipation.
This Profession is made in public during a solemn Mass. As a symbol that she is consecrated to God as a Bride of Christ, a silver ring is placed on her finger.